If you intend to carry out any of the following works:
• to cut into a wall to take the bearing of a beam e.g. for a loft conversion.
• inserting a damp proof course in a Party Wall.
• demolish a chimney breast.
• to raise the whole party wall and, if necessary, cut off any projections which prevent you from doing so.
• Demolishing and re-building or altering a ‘party fence wall’ that is a
masonry garden or yard wall.
• to demolish and rebuild the party wall
• to underpin the whole wall
• to protect two adjoining walls by putting a flashing from the higher over the lower.
• excavating lower than a
neighbour’s foundations if closer than 3 metres or 6 meters away.
you must inform all adjoining owners.
You must not even cut into your own half of the wall without telling the next door neighbour of your intentions.
If you start work without having given notice in the proper way, adjoining owners may seek redress through the courts.
A neighbour cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given to them by the Act, but they can influence how and when the work is 'done’.
The purpose is to let neighbours know the extent of the work and to provide a framework for preventing or resolving disputes.
The Act is not intended to stop building work.
The Act also says that a building owner must not cause unnecessary inconvenience. The building owner must provide compensation for any damage and must provide temporary protection for buildings and property where necessary.
Contact us if :
• You intend to serve, sign or issue a ‘Notice’.
We can, on your behalf:
• Serve Party Wall Notices.
• Act on your behalf if the Adjoining Owner does not respond to your notice.
We ensure that our Clients are fully aware of their obligations and rights under the Act and in this capacity we ensure that all appropriate notices are served, designs are correctly considered, the appropriate schedules are produced and all necessary duties are discharged by both the building owner and adjoining owner, depending upon our appointment.
You can of course serve the relevant documents on your neighbours yourself. Use the example letters in the government's Party Wall booklet (PDF). Be sure to fill in the blanks correctly, otherwise the notice will not be valid. Don't assume you know who owns the house next door. Get details of all the current legal owners from the Land Registry website. You can get 30 minutes worth of free advice from the RICS helpline (020 7222 7000) and the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors (01424 883300). They may forward you to local members.
Regardless of who appoints the Surveyor, he is obliged by the Act to act impartially on behalf of both the building owner and adjoining owner.